Traditions versus Tradition!

 

traditions

By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 15:1-9, “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God” then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Here we find the scribes and Pharisees who loved to burden the people with rules and regulations then exclude themselves from the laws that they should be obeying. They had condemned men for not washing their hands but refused to take care of there own parents. They claimed that they had dedicated their money to the house of God so could not use it to help their parents needs.

Now, not all traditions are a bad thing, after all, we all were told to wash our hands before we ate when we were growing up which is not a bad idea. We all have family traditions that we have carried on sometimes for many generations. Even the word of God tells us that we should keep some traditions, 1 Corinthians 11:1-2, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.”

So, what is the problem with the traditions that the scribes and Pharisees laid upon men? Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” The problem comes when we take a tradition then turn it into a law that we need to obey or find our salvation in jeopardy. I can think of many things that I was taught and even taught myself that became a law that must be obeyed. One significant one that is taught in many churches is found in Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” Pretty clear, Huh? Well if you read the entire book of Malachi you will find out the author was writing to the priest not the people. This offering or tithe was not of money either, it was of sacrifice which in most instances in the Bible we find it was of crops not money. I can spend more time on this subject but I hope I at least made you double think tithe as something you can choose to do rather than have to do!

Other traditions that have been laid on mankind as law are dress, hair, entertainment, discipline, food, and many more that have caused many a saint to walk away form God rather than closer to Him.

Keep this one thing in mind and I believe you will never fall into the trap of turning a tradition into law, 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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Love is the Only Answer!

Love-is-always-the-answer-300x300

By Pastor Jeff,

Am I only one that thinks our world has gone completely crazy? I’m sure everyone who reads this post will give a resounding, NO, It’s definitely gone completely bonkers!

When you read, listen to, or watch the News about politics, watch some of the new television series that keep popping up glorifying evil, and talk to your friends about life, you have to shake your head, look up, and declare “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Come!” The division that has hit our world, our country, is not only becoming comical but also dangerous as we hear increasing calls for a revolution.

One of the greatest declarations in the Word of God is in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Amen!

But is seems that our world has taken a completely different view of what this scripture says, this verse seems to say this to many, “For God so loved the Liberals, that he gave his only begotten Son, that if you vote Democrat you will not perish, but have everlasting life.” or worse, “For God so loved the Conservatives, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever votes Republican will not not perish, but have everlasting life.” (you can insert any political view, color, sex, religious view in there and it would cover most issues dealing with our society today).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 

One of the biggest things dividing our country which is pretty much equal with our political atmosphere is the word, “racist”. This has become a a 10lb. hammer in which if anyone disagrees with what you believe even if you can support it with facts and the word of God, they will whack you over the head with it. One of the things love requires us to as Christians to do is to tell others when they are in sin. Just see what happens when you call those in the LGBT that the movement is wrong, how quickly the hammer comes down, mention how abortion is wrong, and wham the hammer comes down. We agree racism is wrong, but if you declare that it is wrong because there is only one race, the Human race, and that many are using it gain an advantage, you better duck.

Jesus came to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Why? because He loved us, not because of or our color, sex, religious, political affiliation or whatever we claim to be. He loved us because we are His creation and He has no desire for anyone to go anywhere for eternity other than Heaven, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If we want to see revival, the power of Jesus Christ in regards to healing, miracles, people converted for the Kingdom of God, then we must abandon hate for Love, 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 

Love is not just the answer for our world today, its the ONLY ANSWER

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Radically Saved

radical

By Pastor Jeff

One of the definitions for the word “Radical” is, characterized by independence of or departure from tradition; innovative or unorthodox:“the daring, avant-garde spirit of the music was too radical for the conservative audience”

Tradition is important, 2 Thessalonians 2:14-15, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Mans’ tradition is not, Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” 

Jesus Christ came to not destroy the law but fulfill it according to Matthew 7:17. He did radically change the view that the so called spiritual leaders were teaching and requiring the everyday believer in God to follow. His words were powerful, John 7:45-46, “Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.” His actions showed His ability, John 3:1-2, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

The words of Jesus had authority, He spoke against the religious bondage that mankind had been chained to, He was unorthodox, He healed on the Sabbath, He spoke of things that no man could know, heavenly things, and His words angered the religious.

The same thing is happening today. We have so many people who will declare that they are Christians but have been chained to the traditions of men. In the face of trials or the possibility of suffering for Christs sake they melt into denial that would make Peter’s denial look petty. They wear t-shirts, jewelry, have bumper stickers, and even tattoo’s declaring their love of God. They however have no root and will show no real signs of repentance, holiness, or LOVE in there lives.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Radically saved Christians have one purpose and it’s not following a bunch of rules laid out by Creeds, bylaws, television evangelist, authors or government. Matthew 22:36-39, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

Lets be unorthodox, independent from man’s traditions, daring to swim against the current, Radically Saved!

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Why go to Church?

church

By Pastor Jeff,

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” I recently read some statistics that should send a loud alarm to the church. When it comes to millennial’s those from the ages 18-29; we find that nearly 40% do not have any religious affiliation and that number is growing significantly.

We have many reasons some of which have been around for decades such as hypocrisy, greed, fallen stars in the religious circles, and we just don’t have time to spend going to church every week.

But I want to address a growing complaint that I hear from young people, “The building is not the church, we are the church!” The word church in the Greek is ekklēsia”  a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):—assembly, church.

No where in there does it talk about the building; so we would tend to agree that the focus that is put attending a church building is way over emphasized in the modern religious circles of today! If you look at the verse in Hebrews 10 it talks about the importance of the gathering together of like believers, so is that in a building? Not necessarily but it does not say we should not gather ourselves together as well. The early saints did gather together in houses, Acts 12:12, “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” They also gathered in the temple, Acts 2:46, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

The main problem I see with those that state that they won’t go to a building is that many are just using that as an excuse to do what they please and avoid having to be accountable to anyone! I need to have fellowship with others, I need to be accountable, I need other prayers, to avoid fellowship is dangerous and unbiblical.  If you gather together at a home, at a building, or in the open air, I’m all for it. But to use that as an excuse to do as you want to do with no time spent connecting with our Lord Jesus Christ you are setting yourself up for failure. It doesn’t take a big crowd to have church Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” You do however need to have more than yourself, ponder this, maybe you don’t think you need others but others may need you!

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The Devil isn’t the only liar! (part 3)

Lies

By Pastor Jeff,

John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” This scripture pretty much sums it up, the devil is a liar and because of mans fall we also have the nature to do likewise.

In this section I probably won’t make any friends but I promise in the next part I will give out some good news. I now want to zone in on the church or more aptly religion as playing a large role in “Lies”. In the verse we just read, who was Jesus talking to? If you said the Jews or the religious ones of the day you would be correct. Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem with those that were outcasts, the social misfits, the sick, and such. But He often had issue with those that considered themselves higher than others, that wore the collar as you might say.

That hasn’t changed, it burdens me that we have so many “churches” but the truth is being taught in so few. The bible says in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus then follows it up in John 3:5, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Pretty clear cut! So why are so many churches not obeying this but rather are putting forth a doctrine of Salvation that is not biblical by any means. They like to take what Paul wrote in his Epistles, which are written to the already “Born Again” believers, and make it become the mode of salvation, It’a lie folks!

The Apostle Peter makes it clear in Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” If anyone tells you differently it’s a lie!

Salvation is not the only lie that religion has become responsible in deceiving many, the early church was transforming the world and it didn’t matter how much persecution was being placed on Christians. So, Satan just changed his tactics in that he decided to team up with the church. Soon false doctrines such as baptism in the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost took place of Jesus Name, infant baptism was instituted, purgatory, indulgences, and many other lies were pressed unto the church. Many of these were overcome during the reformation period but some still are adhered to.

Nowadays we have a new type of deception happening as media has become a source to deceive, steal, and promote false teaching. I love the word of God and will be honest that many times I have misspoke mainly because of some of the things I was taught by taking a scripture or two out of context and forming a thought that is not really promoted in God’s word. Preachers are saying things that are just not true, the doctrine of tithing is one of them, I encourage you to study this yourself and you will find that it is not scriptural. I have sat at funerals of those that have never been born again and have heard that they are in heaven with Jesus at this very moment, sorry I cannot be party to that. I know we hate to hurt others with the truth but are we helping or hurting them? I’ve read and heard especially of when a child has passed how God needed another angel, sorry that is not biblical, in fact for us that have been born again, heaven is a far better place for us than the angels. I could go on and on on how the so called church is lying to those that follow a leader other than Jesus Christ and His word but I must stop for length sake. God Bless you and always reject lies as you pursue “Truth”!

Romans 3:4, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

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